Shimmering silver added an elegant sparkle to Nikki and Matt's December do
When Matt saw Nikki walk past on a night out he said to his friends, "That's the girl I want to marry." And ten years later, after a romantic proposal in a bar overlooking the Champs-Élysées, he did just that on a frosty December day at St Mary's Church, Prestbury.
Photography: Dominique Bader (dominiquebader.com)
There's no rule that says December weddings must be a riot of red and green, and Nikki and Matt found subtle but stunning ways to reflect the season. "We love December and the build-up to Christmas so tried to create a cosy, festive theme for our day," she explains. The couple set the chic winter scene with Fifties-inspired poster invitations from Etsy seller La Belle Vie Design.
The wintery touches began at the local parish church (where Nikki's parents had wed 40 years earlier) with lace-trimmed jam-jar lanterns, candlelight and a frosted evergreen at the altar. "We used gypsophila as pew ends for a snowy effect and filled doily confetti cones with white rose petals," Nikki says.
The couple stuck to a sleek monochrome palette for their outfits too, channelling Old Hollywood glamour and Rat Pack sophistication. "I love Audrey Hepburn's style and wanted that to come across in the way the bridal party looked," says Nikki.
Nikki set the glamorous tone with a bespoke gown. With a specific design in mind she enlisted Cheltenham-based bridal designer Cara Wagstaff from Cocoa Couture to turn it into a reality. "My dress was made from silk with an antique lace overlay and Swarovski crystal embellishment. I was so glad I had the crystals added as the sunlight in the church really made it sparkle."
To finish off her look Nikki added a romantic French feather stole and a Fifties-style birdcage veil both from Cocoa Couture as well as crystal-encrusted heels from Gina.
The couple's daughter Keeva stayed warm and picture perfect in a Russian-style hat and muff sourced online, while the best girls accented their Helene Berman London coats with belts to match the groom's slim black suit from Slaters.
"My aunt put together all the wedding flowers, including my bouquet of David Austin Patience roses, gypsophila and anemones," says Nikki.
After the ceremony, guests were greeted at Tudor-style venue Wesley House with mulled wine and a roaring log fire, then sat down for an intimate meal in the atmospheric dining room.
Nikki got creative and gave her vintage black picture frame table plan a dual purpose. "I placed handmade black and cream lace trimmed escort cards for each guest in invisible pockets within the frame and when they took them out the card opened up to reveal a personalised mini menu."
"Vintage styling touches like lace and pearls really complemented the black and white beams of the restaurant and created a magical, winter wonderland vibe," Nikki says.
And Nikki's homemade iced snowflake biscuit favours perfectly complemented the stylish colour scheme.
"As it was winter, we didn't need lots of flowers so I kept it simple with the same cream roses that were in my bouquet and snow-like gypsophila," Nikki says. Blooms were placed in antique-style perfume bottles from BHS and decorated with strings of pearl beading. Ornate frames from Monsoon dressed up the table numbers.
In place of a guest book, Nikki handcrafted a wish tree by tying rustic twigs together in a pot filled with soil and topped with moss. "I sprayed it with fake snow to give it a wintery feel, then made wish tags for guests to write messages on and hang in the tree," Nikki explains. "We displayed the instructions in a vintage frame next to it."
Guests were treated to a tower of 1387 Ferrero Rocher chocolates as a very stylish alternative to the traditional wedding cake. "Matt's dad made a metre-high polystyrene cone with a steel rod through the middle, then spent seven hours attaching chocolates with cocktail sticks," says Nikki. "The result was amazing."
Later in the evening, the couple and 90 guests moved to the Bar & Grill at Wesley House for a party that lasted into the small hours. "Having a second space really helped everyone let their hair down. And seeing Keeva so happy was really special for me and Matt. We couldn't get her off the dancefloor!"